Sometimes “self-care” is hogwash

We had friends over the other night. We’ve been wrestling about where to get plugged in, specifically where to start serving in our new hometown. They gave us what has become a standard response from people over the years.

“I think you should take care of yourself.”

“You need to take a break.”

“Put on your oxygen mask before putting on someone else’s.”

My whole life there have been people coaxing us to slow down, take a break, rest.

If I’m on an airplane and the oxygen masks come down, I know to put mine on first. I also know I won’t put mine on and then pick up a magazine while the person next to me is suffocating!!!

– My angry voice.

Here’s something that might offend you: Seeing other people serve makes selfish people uncomfortable.

Yes, we should rest. We do. Every Saturday. Rest and serving are the two pedals that propel a meaningful life. They are not opposites, they require one another. Here’s how that works:

Sabbath is for rest (Sabbath is an Old Testament idea of taking a day each week to rest)

Vacations are for memories.

Life is for service.

Too many of our friends escape to the beach for a week hoping it will rejuvenate their rest-bucket. It won’t. They are nervous to say yes to serving because it will tire them. It will. They believe activity (busyness) is the same thing as contribution. It isn’t. And then, they still don’t sabbath because they’ve never learned the difference between inactivity and rest. They can.

Rest is not the same as sleep, but it has parallel implications in this way: Too much sleep is as detrimental as too little.

Don’t wait until you’re not tired to start serving.

Here’s the secret to serving. You won’t be a hero. Actually, you’ll realize how little you can do. And THAT is what will allow you to rest well. God is the one doing it. We’re willing participants in the small way we can. Rest is pausing to reconnect with God, who is doing the work.

So, instead of doing very little – get out there and realize how little you can do

Comments are closed.

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: